Well, it looks like we’ve got a new governor. One with no experience at all.
I wonder, honestly, what’s happening, here? How is it that the Republicans have picked up momentum? How do they dominate the talk radio circuit, when you’ve got vapid airbags like Hannity & Rush, who are on their faces wrong about half the bullshit that spews from their gaping maws? How is it that you have an administration as blatantly corrupt as the Bush administration, and yet, Bush’s approval rating isn’t in the single digits?
It boggles my mind. Is the general public really that idiotic? Is it that the majority of Americans simply don’t believe in any sort of social responsibility save to the dollar? Is it that they see these rich fucks strutting around, patting each other on the back, and the hope that one day, they’ll also be soulless fat cats so overwhelming that it beats out any sense of decency or common sense?
I don’t understand it.
How could you be anything less than a millionaire, and vote Republican? I suppose you could be deluded by the rhetoric of tax cuts, and all that bullshit, but if you even take a cursory look at what your bottom line is, it’s obvious that you’re getting screwed, under the guise of populism.
How could you be a woman and be a Republican? How could you be a minority and be a Republican? How could you be a homosexual, and be a Republican? How could you be anything but a rich, white man, and be a Republican? And even then, you’d have to believe that corporate welfare is ok, but social welfare is not, that equal rights aren’t really equal rights, and you’d have to be a fundamentalist Christian, to boot. Is this the majority of America, now? Is it?
Because if it is, I’ll have to be honest. I’ve got two choices. I could either somehow struggle against the masses, to try to make America a better place, if I truly believed it was the “land of opportunity” and if I truly believed that it was a place that brings out the best in people, and that there wasn’t a viable alternative to America as a place in the world. Or I could leave.
And honestly, the masses are too massive. I don’t believe, under a Republican philosophy, that it’s a land of opportunity. It’s an ideology where the rich get richer, and the poor are kept where they ‘belong’. In that kind of society, opportunity is sacrificed at the altar of big business, and the willingness to make a positive difference in the world is undermined unless it inflates the bottom line. I certainly don’t see the best in people, when I think Republican. Rather, I see a group that bases their politics around racism, to save the southern vote, a ‘good-ole boys’ club mentality, misogynism (even from the Republican women, strangely enough, if you listen to the way the women who defend Schwarzenegger talk, their ideology is more important than *gasp* electing someone who’s a confessed harasser), and corporate greed. Is there something I’m missing? What part of this is the American Dream of equality, opportunity, and compassion?
If I look at Canada, a country I’ve spent a good deal of time in over the years, I see a country where yeah, taxes are high. No question. But it’s clean, in a way that the US is not. The people are nicer, by and large. There are more places to live that are safe. I don’t have to worry about being shot, a block from my house. Where the educational system is competant, and *respected* in a way that it’s not in the US. Of course I’m not seeing the whole picture, but I’ve spent months there on end, and I know for a *FACT* that the population is proud to be Canadian in a way that I *cannot* feel proud to be an American.
I don’t understand what’s happened. It wasn’t that long ago that I liked living in this country, that I felt proud to be an American, that I felt like the future held limitless potential, and that it was good be optimistic about the future. Now, I feel any optimism is a moronic delusion, that our government is bought and paid for by the ludicrously wealthy, and that my label, an American, born and raised, is a badge of shame, not pride.
A country where the leader is a failed Yale legacy, railing against the unfairness of affirmative action, who can talk about it sincerely because he’s too stupid to understand that the legacy system is far worse, in terms of socioeconomic discrimination than anything Affirmative Action’s ever been, where someone like Tom DeLay garners any sort of respect at all, where most of the country is willing to believe whatever they hear on the news, or from the White House press secretary without even bothering to think about it… this isn’t America.
We’re gonna see a backlash, same as when Ventura was elected governor. The people will see they fucked up, and regret it, and wonder how we’ve done this to ourselves. We got ourselves into a war in Iraq, gung-ho and full of bluster, and now we wonder, how did we end up in this 87 billion dollar morass. We run a completely jiggered anti-democratic-on-its-face recall, and wonder why we’ve completely subverted our own system of government.
These are things that are OBVIOUS at the outset, if the public even bothered to think about it for a moment. These are things that can be projected by anyone with half a brain. These are things that we can *PREVENT* before they happen because they’re stupid ON THEIR FACE, and obvious to anyone smart enough to rub two sticks together. But for some reason, the public insists that we should just do whatever *feels* right, then deal with the outcome later.
I’m appalled at how popular stupidity has become. How celebrated it is in our popular culture, and how much of a stigma there is to “intellectualism”. I’m disgusted that it’s uncool to be smart. I despise the notion that “cool” is more important than “kind” and that “knowledge” is outweighed by the virtue of “ignorance”. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to remember how ostracized I felt when I was brought into the gifted program in my middle school, and how *relieved* I was to quit it, though I learned more, and in more interesting ways, than at any other time in my public school education. I know more about the Battle of Hastings than I do about WWII, because I learned it in an interesting way. But I quit that program, because I couldn’t endure the torture at the hands of my peers on a day to day basis, for a year and a half.
It *DISGUSTS* me that this kind of behaviour is “normal” for kids – that parents and even teachers accept is as a routine part of our growing up. That people that exceed the status quo need to, for whatever reason, be brought back down to it, either by a destruction of their self-esteem, or by being beaten up after school. That excelling is frowned upon, and that even in this land of freedom and diversity, that being like everyone else is the most prized virtue we instill in our children.
And fuck this stupid country. Fuck it up its stupid ass.
It feels, to me, that the general attitude of the Republican party isn’t too different than that of an elementary school bully. The point is that they want to keep what’s theirs, whether they earned it or not. Thus the repeal of the dividends and estate taxes. They want to amass more wealth, even on the backs of the less fortunate. Thus the reluctance to close tax loopholes that demand, in order to be competitive, that companies move their headquarters offshore, to avoid paying taxes out of potential profits. They don’t care what happens to anyone that’s not them, and have a stunning lack of compassion for those that are unable to be in a position to work the machine, or dominate by whatever means necessary. They don’t care about anything apart from themselves, not their fellow man, nor their environment, nor the future. Thus the tax cuts, thus the exclusion of people legitimately paying payroll taxes but in the lower income brackets from the child tax credit. Thus the redistricting of Texas, thus the financing of an absurd execution of an obsolete and poorly-written law.
It is inconceivable to me, in all honesty, that *anyone* would believe this mode of thinking is appropriate. I believe that there are Republicans who believe in the ideology because it benefits them, in exactly the manner I’ve described. I believe that there are Republicans who believe that one day, they will be in a position that it will benefit them. But I cannot believe that people can actually put the words “compassionate” and “conservative” next to each other, and not know they’re liars. I cannot believe that anyone who knows anyone who is gay, for instance, believes they’re less than human, that their love is less than anyone else’s, or that they deserve to be treated worse than everyone else. I cannot believe that anyone who has ever even *seen* poverty, would believe that the economic policies that the Republicans stand for are acceptable, not only to the poor, but to *ANYONE*.
I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it at all. I don’t understand why this is the belief of the majority of my state. The state I grew up in, that I have all these great hopes for. That we are, in the end, soulless, superficial, mentally vacant drones. I knew the country was basically that, but I always held out hope that California, at the very least, would do the right thing.
What can I say? I was wrong. Wrong. We’re the same batch of morons and simpletons that pervade the entire country, it seems.